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Research Faculty Affairs

COVID-19 and its impact on research faculty reviews

The Office of the Vice President for Research is partnering with university leaders to address how COVID-19 impacts the promotion probationary period of research faculty on the research professor track and the research scientist track. Current policies allow leaders to be flexible and supportive of COVID-related requests for additional time, and so employees should work directly with their unit leaders on these matters.

Research investigators have a four-year review cycle, and so with an approved COVID-19 exception, that can be extended to a five-year period. For faculty appointed as either assistant research scientists or research assistant professors, OVPR guidelines allow the unit to defer the promotion review for a year. If the clock is extended for one year, units are required to track the total length of time prior to promotion review for these candidates.

The health of the research enterprise at the University of Michigan is a reflection of the excellence of its faculty. In an effort to equip U-M faculty with the necessary tools to advance their research and scholarship, the U-M Office of the Vice President for Research has identified the following resources surrounding research faculty policies and procedures:

Appointments and Promotions 

  • Offer letter and MOU templates

    • In order to improve the clarity and consistency of the information contained in offer letters, the Office of Vice President for Research requires use of standard templates for offer letters to research professors and research scientists.

    • Bridging Support for Research Faculty
      • The U-M Bridging Support Program, managed by the Office of the Vice President for Research, provides temporary salary and fringe benefit support for research faculty who experience a temporary loss in external (sponsored) funding due to factors beyond their control.

    • Guidelines for Obtaining Approval of Additional Research Scientist Appointments for Faculty
      • ​The U-M Office of the Vice President for Research established guidelines regarding procedures for obtaining approval to offer current faculty an additional research scientist appointment in another department or academic unit at the same, or equivalent, rank.